Health insurer AmeriHealth New Jersey has partnered with Thyme Care, an oncology care management company, to help its members cope with cancer diagnoses. The new union starts on 1 January 2023.
Thyme care, based in Nashville and founded in 2020, focuses on helping patients through their cancer journey by providing education and support for their diagnosis and treatment, and ideally making them survivors, according to Robin Shah, founder and CEO director. Survival refers for the health and well-being of a person with cancer from the time of diagnosis to the end of life, including the physical, mental, emotional and financial aspects of cancer. But in the event of failure to survive, the company also provides support for patients and their families to receive the best possible end-of-life care.
“This early process is one of the most vulnerable times in any cancer patient’s life,” Shah said. “And what we’ve learned is that it takes so long to figure out what’s going on that we have to decide for them.” … Our focus and goal is to help people navigate this complex journey.”
Patients can access Thyme virtually through four mediums: phone, text message, email and video. The company has an app called Thyme Box, which is a software platform that allows navigators to understand the patient and receive information about the patient from their providers and health plans. It also allows the company to document information every time patients interact with Thyme staff.
In partnership with AmeriHealth announced last week, the health plan will educate its members about the thyme model so they know if they can access it if they are diagnosed with cancer. Thyme will provide analysis of member population data to help diagnose members early and identify risk factors during their care.
Thyme will also provide resources to those who are diagnosed, including access to an oncology-trained nurse and oncology resource specialists who are focused on the social determinants of health and help with non-clinical issues such as finances and transportation.
“When a member is diagnosed with cancer, everything else doesn’t just go away,” Shah said. “So how do we make sure that even though the cancer diagnosis itself takes a long time, they have someone who is thinking about everything else with them?”
While members will gain access to Thyme Care at no additional cost, the two organizations will make money through a value-based care model in which both organizations share responsibility for the cost of care and the quality of care patients receive.
Thyme was attracted by the partnership with AmeriHealth because it discovered the health plan had many members diagnosed with cancer, Shah said. Thyme then performs in-depth analytics to determine the types of cancer members are experiencing, the demographics of that population, and areas where care can be improved.
This isn’t the first partnership of its kind for Thyme, which also works with Clover Health. With both Clover Health and AmeriHealth New Jersey, Thyme’s current focus is on New Jersey and surrounding areas. The company will soon announce additional partnerships, but Shah declined to provide details on those collaborations.
Thyme’s ultimate goal is to improve the experience and access to care for people with cancer, and the partnership with AmeriHealth is a step in that direction, Shah said.
“Our goal in this collaboration with AmeriHealth … is to enable our members to have a better experience going through their cancer journey, to improve the quality of our care through this highly toxic, complex, time-consuming process of cancer diagnosis and treatment Shah said.
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